My Puppy is Limping But Not Crying After Playing – No Pain

A puppy may develop a limping problem resulting from either obvious or obscure reasons. Several factors may cumulatively lead to puppy limping. These probable causes may be due to a slight or severe injury on the muscle, skin, nerves, and bone of your puppy’s leg.

These, among other forms of external or internal leg injuries, result in puppy limping. However, other not so obvious factors such as its genetic predisposition, malnutrition, and the puppy’s breed as some breeds are more predisposed to limping compared to others.

Hence in this piece, we are mainly going to focus on the most common reasons your puppy may be limping. However, before we proceed further, it is imperative to note that keenness and observance of your puppy’s behavioral and movement patterns are vital prerequisites.

These two are often resourceful when identifying the form of limping that is manifesting on your puppy. Limping in puppies manifests itself in two forms, namely, gradual and sudden onset.

Gradual onset manifests progressively and can be more devastating of the two since it is an indicator of an underlying degenerative condition; thus, it is long-term. On the other hand, the sudden onset is short-term since it occurs due to injuries inflicted on your puppy’s legs’ internal or external parts.

Bone Trauma

Your puppy may have been involved in an accident that has left one of its limbs injured. Bone trauma occurs when a heavy blunt or sharp object comes into unwanted contact with a limb and often with force.

Bone trauma results in fractures that manifest as swelling and pain around the affected area, among other symptoms. As a result of these symptoms, your puppy may struggle with basic movement and limp to avoid putting excessive weight on the affected area.

Blunt force trauma subjected to your puppy’s limbs may either be mild or severe. The force of the impact dictates the healing duration. For instance, in cases where either of your puppy’s limbs has gotten subjected to mild trauma, there will be no fractures; hence the limping is short-lived.

However, in the case of severe trauma, your puppy’s mobility may be minimal. At this stage, it is advisable to seek professional help from a veterinary doctor who may perform the necessary tests and examinations to determine the cause and offer your puppy the best available treatment.

Other non-genetic related causes of limping in puppies include; muscle injury, paw wounds, and broken claws, among many other contributing factors. Some inherited medical conditions that may affect your puppy’s mobility are as follows; 

Bone Diseases

These diseases are genetic conditions that may manifest themselves in various forms of diseases such as bone cancer, and other severe conditions that may be causing the bone density to waste away. These diseases weaken the bones, and mild trauma may result in severe bone fracture.

This condition is prevalent among dogs of a larger breed. The pain associated with bone diseases results in limping or limited mobility. 

Hence it is advisable to take your puppy to an experienced veterinary doctor who will provide the best care meant to improve your little buddy’s quality of life. Unfortunately, bone diseases can only be managed as there is no known cure.


In dogs, this condition arises from an inadequate supply of blood to the hip joint resulting in hip muscle degeneration. This condition makes your puppy easily susceptible to other bone diseases.

Its symptoms include pain, limping, and significant muscle loss in the affected area, among others. It mostly affects smaller breed dogs. If you have a smaller breed puppy, it is at more risk if it is between three to eight months. 

One should seek medical assistance on spotting any of the symptoms mentioned as the condition worsens over time. If not treated early, prolonged puppy limping can result in partial loss of mobility.

Skeletal Dysplasia

This is a genetic disorder that affects bone growth and development. Studies suggest that larger breed dogs may be more susceptible to this condition, just as seen in bone disease. In dogs, there are two types of skeletal dysplasia, namely, hip and elbow dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia results from a hip malformation, whereas elbow dysplasia occurs due to the elbow’s malformation. Aside from limping, these malformations result in height abnormalities as some limps develop longer or shorter than usual.

This condition often gets accompanied by pain in the affected areas; hence it is advisable to seek a trained veterinarian’s advice for the best available non-invasive or invasive treatment forms.

Disproportional limb growth

This is an inherited abnormal bone growth where either of the hind limbs is more prolonged than the other, which results in limping to accommodate the unbalanced limbs. However, there is no cause for alarm as your puppy’s limping is supposed to fade away with age gradually.

Luxating Patella

It is a genetic disorder with a high prevalence for small dog breeds and, in layman’s language, can be explained as a dislocation of the kneecaps. It is important to note that it is not easily detectible, but the disease results in more damaging injuries aside from limping as it progresses.

The four types of luxating patella are in four grades: orderly named in roman numbers from roman numbers one to four. Each of these four grades has a variety of recommended invasive or non-invasive treatment methods that work well.

Painful and painless limping

You may have already observed that your puppy has a limping problem, but its reaction and behavior may further confuse you. Almost all the discussed non-genetic and genetic conditions are associated with some degree of pain that a puppy may not handle without crying in distress.

Painless limping results from mild bone trauma whose pain fades away with time, and consequentially, it should be short-lived. If your little buddy has experienced painless limping for a considerable amount of time, you should consider seeking medical help to determine probable causes.

Painful limping can be associated with most of the genetic bone disorders we have mentioned. Your puppy may display very aggressive tendencies alongside withdrawal from everyday activities such as feeding, playing, and interacting with people.

The role of a veterinarian

Therefore the recurring message here is on the importance of seeking medical counsel from a veterinary doctor. A veterinarian will be able to comprehensively examine your puppy to determine the root cause of the limping.

Besides medical examination, your puppy will receive medication to manage pain and swelling symptoms. Some of these prescribed medications may include muscle and pain relievers and nutritional supplements. The medication will also help your puppy regain some of its mobility and eventually do away with the limping.

A veterinary doctor will also determine the extent of damage brought about by the limping and contain the issue to prevent further damage that may be detrimental to your puppy’s welfare. For some less severe cases, the veterinarian may prescribe home-based care for your puppy.

They also administer physical therapy for those severe cases that require specialized care. Alternatively, if physical therapy is recommended for your puppy with a mild limping case, an animal specialist will walk you through the basic techniques required to administer the process thoroughly.

Home-based puppy care

Home care revolves around rest, physical therapy, intake of minimal or no medication in some instances, and generally restraining your puppy from avoiding repeated strain on the affected area. Dog owners have continually gotten advised against self-medicating as this may create even more problems.

Puppies are also not supposed to have gotten administered with drugs meant for human consumption as their metabolism system is not nearly as advanced to take on such potent drugs. Your puppy’s diet should also be revised by an animal specialist as nutrition is a crucial aspect.

A well-balanced diet may not eliminate some bone diseases, but it does play a significant role in managing most of these diseases. A highly nutritious meal boosts your puppy’s immunity hence making it easier to combat bone infections that may cause limping.

Besides boosting its immunity, the meal will provide proteins, vitamins, and minerals to facilitate proper bone growth and muscle development. An animal expert is in the best position to recommend a proper meal with perfectly balanced nutrients for your puppy.

Puppies are to be well-groomed while being on the lookout for objects that may have pricked your puppy’s paw. Grooming also involves trimming its claws to prevent future breakage that may result in limping.

However, if your puppy does not show significant improvement after the recommended time, you should return to your specialist for further guidance. Others may choose to seek a second medical opinion from a different veterinarian, which is allowed.

Final Words

We have thoroughly addressed that puppy limping is not solely derived from the clichéd physical injury bias. We have made comprehensive discussions and discoveries of various genetic disorders to establish that there is always more to it than meets the eye.

One of the other points that have consistently stood out sorely is the importance of seeking medical assistance from an animal specialist. Alongside being conversant with your puppy’s breed and medical history, to quickly identify its most susceptible diseases.

We have also undoubtedly established that puppy limping is easily manageable. At times, it only requires an ample rest that can be dealt with when discovered in good time and when you adhere to your veterinarian’s advice.  

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